M.Bashir: The National Bureau of Statistics conducted a survey to determine the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on employment and income generation among Nigerians. Out of the 1,950 households surveyed on a nationally representative sample, 42% of the respondents who had jobs before the outbreak lost their jobs. It has become clear on a global scale that the need for job creation cannot be overemphasized.
This week on our segment of My Weekly Entrepreneur interview we bring Mr. Ahmad Affan Ismail who saw this pandemic as a wakeup call and against all odds ventured to start a business.
Mr. Ahmad: I would like to express my gratitude to you and the entire team of campus entrepreneurs hub for the privilege.
It is my honor to be given the opportunity to share my story. my name is Ahmad Affan Ismail CEO Halal Poultry Farm. I am a level 300 student at Bayero University Kano, and I reside in Niger state.
M.Bashir: It is lovely to have you here with us, thank you for taking the time. “Halal Poultry Farm” just mentioning the name makes me perceive the aroma of roasted chicken lol. Well Mr. Ahmad, tell us about Halal poultry farm and how and why you came to start it.
Background of Halal Poultry Farm
Mr. Ahmad: Thank you. I started Halal poultry a few months after I returned back home from school due to the Covid 19 lockdown. I didn’t want to just stay home idle, so I started thinking of businesses I could start and manage.
Given my place of residence and the little knowledge I had of chickens, I decided to start a poultry farm. I had already sold my laptop with the intention of buying another, but then I thought about it.
Since I already have another computer which is a desktop computer actually, why not use the money to start my business, considering school would not be resuming any time soon. So I used the money to start my poultry farm.
Did a little work on the farm to make sure that it was ready for stocking and then I went ahead to order three cartons of day old broiler chicks all the way from Ibadan. They arrived, and that was how I began my business.
M.Bashir: That is quite some bold moves there Mr. Ahmad. Selling your laptop to start a business, our country needs more youths like you. Youths who are able to make hard choices for the greater good.
From where I stand, I see poultry farming as a very hectic and tiresome business with lots of challenges. I would like for you to share with us some of the challenges you faced and how you were able to overcome them.
Challenges faced and how he overcame them
Mr. Ahmad: Honestly I faced a couple of challenges especially the mortality of the chicks, I lost a few of them. I stocked exactly 160 birds, out of which about 40 died and I was left with 120 or thereabout.
Also one of my other major challenges was finance. It got to the stage where I was glad a few of them didn’t make it, because honestly feeding them wasn’t easy.
Plus the price of feed and dry corn went up. A bag of feed which used to cost 8,500 naira went up to 12,000 naira and that alone was enough to discourage someone starting a small business.
But Alhamdulillah, I didn’t falter, I made sure I took good care of the birds. My dad was impressed with the level of effort I was putting on the farm that he decided to help me out with their feeding money.
After which, when I sold the first batch we did the entire plus and minus. So after expressing my gratitude to almighty God for seeing me through I would also appreciate my dad for all he has done. Without his help I am not sure If I would have made it this far.
M.Bashir: Obviously nothing worthwhile comes easy, in the long run your patience and perseverance paid off.
Well, Mr. Ahmad what is your marketing strategy? How do you attract customers?
Mr. Ahmad: Actually, I mainly print flyers and post them in places where certain people would come across it. Also, I give out a few to my friends to distribute also. Plus sometimes I use my social media handle to market them and I ask my friends to share and repost. I always make sure my birds are well fed and the farm is always kept clean, that way they look fresh, well fed and clean.
M.Bashir: Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I am sure you must have a dream, where you expect Halal poultry to be in a couple of years. What is our Vision for Halal poultry?
Mr. Ahmad: My vision for Halal poultry farm is to become a large and successful poultry farm where I can employ a couple of workers. Also I’m working towards expanding to fish farming as well. My belief is that, in this life, school and certificates don’t guarantee success. It takes prayers, determination and hard work and I pray to get there someday.
M.Bashir: Wow! I wish u success and best of luck. Finally Mr. Ahmad, a word of advice to students, youths and young entrepreneurs out there.
Words of encouragement
Mr. Ahmad: My advice is, you don’t necessarily have to go to school to make it in life, as such make use of all the opportunities that come your way and don’t wait until you graduate before you do that. Thank you and May God bless you.
M.Bashir: Thank you Mr. Ahmad it was so nice having you here with us. We wish you success and blessings. Thank you. To our readers, don’t forget to comment, subscribe and follow us on twitter. See you next week on another amazing segment of My Weekly Entrepreneur Interview. I remain your host Muhammad Bashir Muhammad
Address: New Bussa, Borgu local government, Niger state
Facebook: Ahmad Affan
Twitter: Ahmad Anfani